§ Earl Grey
said, I rise my Lords—when his Lordship had uttered these words he was so much affected as to be unable to proceed. The House cheered him. After a short interval he repeated the expression, and again stopped. The House again cheered, but the noble Earl could not proceed, and he resumed his seat.
§ The Duke of Wellington
rose, and by presenting several petitions for protection to the Established Church, afforded the noble Earl time to recover himself. After a few minutes,
§ Earl Grey
again rose, and at first spoke feebly and tremulously as if he were still overpowered by his feelings. As he went on he gathered strength, his words were to the following effect:—My Lords, I feel quite ashamed of the sort of weakness I show on this occasion, a weakness which arises from my deep sense of the personal kindness which, during my having been in his service, I have received from my Sovereign. However, my Lords, I have a 1306 duty to perform which, painful as it may be, I must discharge; and in rising to propose to your Lordships to agree to the Report which has just been read, I have to state that I no longer do so as a Minister of the Crown, but as an individual Member of Parliament, strongly impressed with the necessity of passing this Act, to invest the Government, in whatever hands the Government may be placed, with the powers given by this Bill, and which I believe to be necessary to the maintenance of the peace of Ireland. I should be unworthy of the situation I have held in his Majesty's Councils, and unworthy of a seat in the House, if, in the performance of my duty, I did not take upon myself, under the disagreeable circumstances of the moment, at the risk even of misrepresentation, at the risk of any obloquy that may be cast upon me—I say I should be unworthy, if in the situation which I have held in his Majesty's Councils, I shrunk at this moment from proposing to your Lordships to agree to this step in the progress of a Bill which I believe to be indispensable to the peace and safety of Ireland. The ground on which this opinion is founded, I have before had the opportunity of stating to your Lordships—reflection has confirmed me in that opinion—which has been painfully wrung from me by a careful consideration of all the circumstances attending the state of Ireland, as they have come before me in the various dispatches received from the Lord Lieutenant of that country, from various communications from different quarters, and from the documents now on your Lordships' Table, and the result of the whole is a sincere conviction that Ireland cannot safely be left to the ordinary protection of the law, but that the Government must be intrusted with the extraordinary powers for the preservation of peace in that country which are conferred by this Act. Having gained your Lordships' assent to that opinion on a former occasion, it is not now necessary that I should address your Lordships more on that part of the subject, especially as, when I introduced the Bill, I went into a statement of considerable length of all the circumstances which, in my opinion, proved the necessity of the measure. But on this occasion, it will naturally be expected by your Lordships that I should enter into some explanation of the circumstances which have occurred, and 1307 which have placed me in the new situation in which I now move your Lordships to agree to the Report. I need not refer your Lordships to what has recently passed in this House on certain questions being put and answered when I was asked whether in any communication made on this subject, with a person who is known for the strong part he takes in the affairs of Ireland, (I will not stay to describe him in any other terms), when I was asked, my Lords, whether I was a party to that communication, I stated then, and repeat it now, that those communications were not only made without my concurrence, but without my knowledge, and that if I had been previously apprised of them, there was no power or influence that I possess which I would not have used to prevent them, for I knew, as the event itself has proved, that communications of any description whatever, even of the very slightest nature, could not safely be made to that quarter, and I should have impressed on any Member of the Government who had proposed such a communication to me, that it was not for the honour of the Government and could not be for the benefit of the country, that any communications whatever should be made to the person in question. Having repeated the opinion I before gave of the necessity of the measure which I now propose to your Lordships, the next statement I have to make is, that from the time the opinion of this necessity was formed by me, on the grounds I have already stated, it never has for one moment undergone the slightest change or variation; and I have never had any doubt as to the necessity of reenacting all the clauses which now remain. Up to the 23rd of June I had no reason to believe that any doubt upon the subject was entertained by any Member of the Cabinet; I had no idea that anybody differed in opinion with me. It was the opinion of myself and all my colleagues, in consequence of previous communications, that it was indispensable the Act should be renewed. I myself instructed the Attorney General to prepare a Bill for its renewal, which is now on the Table of your Lordships' House; but upon the 23rd of June a new set of circumstances took place. It is extremely painful to me to go into the statement of circumstances, of which no part should have been made public; but as part has been published, and has produced certain un- 1308 pleasant and important results, it is necessary that I, standing here as charged with the non-performance of my duty, and being answerable to my Sovereign, and responsible for my own character, should state, in the clearest manner, and without disguise, the real nature of all those circumstances. On the 23rd of June I received a letter from the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, a private and confidential letter, which I never would have mentioned out of the Cabinet had I not been obliged to do so by the necessity of the circumstances in which I am placed, in which letter the Lord Lieutenant did appear to take a new view of the subject, and which, therefore, I did think it necessary should be laid before my colleagues. This letter appeared to be produced not by any original view of the subject taken by that illustrious Person, of whom I cannot speak too highly, and who, in this part of the transaction, as in every other, acted from the most conscientious desire to discharge his duty. That letter, I say, appeared to be produced, not so much by any original view taken of the state of Ireland, as by certain considerations which were suggested to the Lord Lieutenant from this country, without my knowledge or concurrence; considerations affecting rather the political state of parties in this country than of Ireland. I thought the view taken in that letter was completely erroneous. I immediately, and without the loss of a single post, wrote to the noble Marquess requesting him to reconsider the matter solely in relation to Ireland, and telling him that the circumstances to which he had adverted ought not to be taken into account. Subsequent letters arrived from the Lord Lieutenant, and the result of the whole was, that the noble Marquess did express an opinion that if it would be of advantage in the political state of this country, the three clauses might be dispensed with, as he would undertake without them to govern Ireland; and more especially if, by dispensing with those clauses, an extension of the term of the Bill were obtained. From the view taken in that letter, which the noble Marquess submitted for consideration, but not as a matter of recommendation, I must say I did feel myself compelled completely to dissent through it became a subject of much deliberation in the Cabinet. I must now speak of circumstances which ought never to have been made known, and of which 1309 it is painful to me to speak, and ought to be painful to others who have left me no choice but to go into this explanation. There was, as has been already stated, and, therefore, it cannot now be concealed, a considerable division of opinion in the Cabinet on this subject, but, ultimately, it was agreed that this Bill should be introduced as I have introduced it to your Lordships; and as it was introduced it has since received the full sanction and concurrence of the Lord Lieutenant, as well as your Lordships' sanction. It is a new practice, and such a circumstance, I think, has never before happened in the political annals of this country, that a question should arise, and a disclosure be called for of the confidential communications of Ministers of the Crown between themselves, or with the subordinate officers of the Government. It has never been the practice that such communications should be made known to the two Houses of Parliament; the result alone is that which the Houses of Parliament have generally thought it sufficient to know. You have a right to be made acquainted with public documents; but to ask what has occurred in the course of the discussion of any particular measure in the Cabinet—what particular opinions have been entertained there—what different views have been taken—at what different periods different circumstances have prevailed to alter the opinions of any of the different members of the Administration—to require these things, I say, is to require that which, if conceded, would render the task of Government, difficult at all times, and especially difficult at a time like the present, absolutely impossible. It was with considerable pain and surprise, that I heard there had been a statement made by those who ought to be anxious, at all events, to preserve the peace of Ireland, who ought to desire to retain unimpaired the privileges and the power of the Government, and not to throw impediments in the way of such purposes, or to retard the passing of this most necessary Act—it was, I say, my Lords, with surprise, I heard that they supported the Motion of an hon. Member of the other House of Parliament, for the production of documents which were of a nature that rendered them unfit to be laid before the House, which certainly ought never to have been called for, and which I will venture to say, never were before 1310 demanded. These were letters not addressed to the Minister of the Crown, with whom the Lord-lieutenant of Ireland ordinarily communicated in his official capacity, but addressed to me; and with whatever imprudence the nature of them might have been suffered to transpire, that did not alter the circumstances which made it improper to call for the production of the documents. I come now to the result. I have already stated to your Lordships, that certain communications were made without my knowledge or concurrence; that the making of such communications was imprudence—was the extreme of imprudence—I can hardly do otherwise than acknowledge; but the effect of that communication was, that a Member of the other House of Parliament having been put in possession of the facts referred to, made use of them for the purpose of bringing a charge against the Government of not producing the necessary documents to enable the House to judge of the Protection Bill. Further, Ministers were charged with a breach of faith, followed by vacillation and inconsistency, and the production of private documents was insisted on, contrary to all precedent and propriety. The consequence was, that my noble friend (the Chancellor of the Exchequer)—I have his Majesty's permission to state these facts, and I will not state more than is absolutely necessary—the noble Lord who has, up to this time, conducted the affairs of Government in the House of Commons, and who was one of those most fully impressed with the opinion entertained by the Lord-lieutenant of Ireland, and who felt how much of the ground on which this Bill had been proposed was swept from under him—my noble friend felt, in consequence of what had passed in the House of Commons on the night before, that he could not with satisfaction to himself, or with utility to the Government and to the public, continue in the situation which he had hitherto occupied. The consequence was, that yesterday morning I received a letter from the noble Lord, containing his resignation, and having, subsequently, in a personal interview with my noble friend, ascertained that his resolution was final and unalterable, I did what it was my duty to do, I transmitted the resignation to his Majesty. It then became necessary for me to consider what I should do. It is 1311 long since I have felt the difficulty of my situation so painfully increase, and so much above any remaining strength or energy that I may still possess—that certainly for some time I have entertained a strong wish to retire from office. My colleagues know, that this wish was anxiously expressed at the close of the last Session. They know that it was then my most earnest desire to withdraw, not from any disposition to shrink from the laborious duties of office, but from a sense that my remaining energies, if they were ever equal to it, were no longer sufficient to enable me to discharge them. I gave up that determination in consequence of the strong and united representations of my colleagues, who stated that my retirement would not only occasion the immediate dissolution of the Government, but might also throw considerable difficulties in the way of his Majesty and the country. I met Parliament, therefore, at the commencement of this Session still a Minister of the Crown, still anxious to carry into effect those further measures of improvement and reform which the situation of the country appeared to require; but not long since an event occurred which produced an important division in the Cabinet, and I need not remind the House that on that occasion, some of the most powerful members of the Government retired. I felt that separation most painfully, on personal as well as on public grounds; and I still feel it most painfully, particularly with respect to two of my late colleagues, who are Members of your Lordships' House. Feeling how unable I was to continue satisfactorily to discharge the duties of my office, I again made up my mind at once to retire; and to state to Parliament and the public that I was willing to go on while the Administration continued united, but that with such a division in it, I felt it impossible to proceed. That resolution was so decidedly taken, that I thought nothing could divert me from it; but again, on the representation of my remaining colleagues, and in consequence of an application, of which your Lordships may have heard, from a great number of the Members of the House of Commons; but, above all, desirous to avoid the difficulties in which his Majesty might have been placed by a dissolution of the Government at that period, and actuated by an anxious desire to carry through the measures then 1312 in progress, which I conceived to be essential to the most important interests of the country—actuated by all these considerations, I was prevailed on to abandon the resolution which circumstances had induced me to form, and which they appeared to justify. In March last, I completed my 70th year, and at that period of life, a man though he might be able to discharge the duties of the office which I hold under ordinary and easy circumstances, yet, considering the present condition of affairs, I felt, that the duties imposed on me were too much for my strength, and that I should, therefore, be justified in retiring. That intention, however, for the reasons I have stated, I abandoned. The places of those who left the Administration, were filled up, and I was in hopes that we should have gone on at least till the measures then before Parliament were completed, and the Session was concluded. But this new state of affairs deprived me of the assistance of my noble friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the leading member of Government in the Commons, the individual on whom my chief confidence rested, whom I considered as my right arm, and without whose assistance I felt it impossible for the Government to go on. Former breaches had considerably weakened the Government; this new breach placed it in a situation in which I could not well hope to retain my place at its head, with any view to serve the Crown or the country to any useful purpose. On receiving my noble friend's resignation, therefore, I saw no alternative, but felt impelled by irresistible necessity to tender my own to his Majesty at the same time. Those resignations have been accepted by his Majesty, and I now stand here discharging the duties of office only till such time as his Majesty shall be enabled to supply my place. I trust that, in this painful statement—in this last scene of my political life, I may experience your Lordships' indulgence. I have stated the circumstances candidly to your Lordships,—I wish to disguise nothing; and I shall be ready to submit to your Lordships' censure, if you think me in fault; but I claim your Lordships' indulgence, if my errors admit of excuse. I call on your Lordships and the public for a just and even kind consideration of the difficult circumstances in which I have been placed. I came into the Government at a period 1313 of great difficulty, and I never should have occupied my present situation if I could have persuaded the noble Marquess near me to accept it. However, I took office, under all the circumstances of the case, as a matter of duty, in order, as far as lay in my power, to obviate the difficulties in which his Majesty and the country were at that time placed. I have attempted to discharge my duty to the best of my ability, and to uphold the principles which I professed on taking office. On the first night I appeared here as a Minister, I stated the principles on which my Government should be conducted. I declared, that the three great and leading objects of my Administration should be a Reform of Parliament, peace, and economical Reform. I appeal with confidence to the House and the people to say, whether those principles have not been faithfully maintained? I know, that we have been frequently told that we do nothing—that the present Session has almost passed without anything being accomplished. But if your Lordships attend to the quarter whence these complaints arise, you will see that those who make them most loudly are in a considerable degree the cause of them, by occupying the House of Commons, night after night, with Motions which I will not designate otherwise than as Motions by which the public business is obstructed. No one in this House, or elsewhere, will say that Reform in Parliament is a pledge which I have not fully redeemed. Peace was the next principle of my Government—how has it been maintained? When we came into office, we found the country in a most difficult position as to foreign policy—many of those difficulties have been removed. The noble Marquess opposite (the Marquess of Londonderry) shakes his head, and appears to dissent from this proposition. I shall be ready to enter fully into the question with the noble Marquess at any time when it shall be brought forward, and I will undertake to show, that we have not only maintained tranquillity, but that we now leave the Government, having secured a greater probability of the peace of Europe being continued than when we took office. With respect to economical Reform, the reproach on that head will hardly be that we have done too little. We have reduced the expense of all the establishments in the country; we have taken off 4,500,000l. 1314 of taxation, for which we are entitled to the greater praise, as having immediately succeeded the great and meritorious reductions made by the noble Duke opposite, and by previous Administrations, for which I am ready to give our predecessors full credit. Places have been abolished, and the patronage of the Crown has been diminished, to a degree which your Lordships may, perhaps, consider inexpedient; and with regard to which, being now divested of any further interest in the question as a Minister of the Crown, I feel bound in justice, to admit that my only doubt is, whether we have not done rather too much. With respect to the internal state of the country, let your Lordships recollect what it was when we took office, and let it be borne in mind, that we now leave it in improved circumstances—trade in a sound and healthy state, the manufacturers generally employed, public credit improved, the revenue greatly increasing, and all interests in a better condition, with one single exception—agriculture; and even the depression of that interest rather affects the landlord, who will be called on for a reduction of rents, to which he must submit, than the tenant who chiefly suffers from the bad administration of the Poor-laws, and who will be relieved by the improvement of them. Political and Trades' Unions, my Lords, have disappeared, and without the application for any extraordinary powers on the part of the Government. It must be in your Lordships' recollection how we have been pressed on this subject, how we have been reproved for supineness and want of energy, for not asking for new laws and new enactments. We have resisted these applications,—we have exerted the ordinary powers of the law with a firm hand, and the result has been successful; and in this instance at least I may appeal to your Lordships and the country, that the Administration has not shown (except in the single case of the Bill which is now before your Lordships, and which the most absolute necessity demanded) any disposition to call for new and extraordinary powers inconsistent with the genius of the Constitution. This, then, is the statement which I have to offer to your Lordships. I have stated the reasons for my resignation, and I look with satisfaction upon the state in which I now leave the affairs of the country. It has been frequently indeed said, that we have 1315 done nothing. Was Reform of Parliament nothing? Was the passing of that delicate and difficult measure, the abolition of Colonial Slavery, nothing? Was the settlement of the East-India Charter, and the opening of the trade of our extensive dominions in India, nothing? Was the arrangement of the question as to the Bank Charter nothing? Are the various improvements in the Law, of which the whole credit is due to my noble and learned friend on the Woolsack, nothing? Were those reforms in the Irish Church, on account of which we have been reproved on one side that we have done too much—were they, and can they with truth be said to be, nothing? The greatest regret I now feel upon quitting office, after that of leaving the service of my master, arises in the first place with respect to the Bill for amending the Administration of the Poor-laws, and in the next, with respect to that measure for the settlement of tithes in Ireland, which I verily believe will, if passed, have a better effect in producing the settlement of that difficult question in Ireland than any other measure that has hitherto been proposed; and my regret is, that I leave these measures unfinished. These are the causes that make me feel regret at the present moment; but I leave the Government with the satisfaction, at least, that in having used my best endeavours to carry into effect those measures of Reform that the country required, I have not shrunk from any obstacles, nor from meeting and grappling with the many difficulties that I have encountered in the performance of my duty. How I have performed it is a matter that is now before your Lordships and the country; all I ask from you in considering it is, that you will not hastily, as I am sure you cannot justly, accuse me of idleness and remissness in the performance of that duty. I have been attacked on the one side for going too far; I have been attacked on the other for not going far enough, and these attacks were made when I have been standing in this House deprived of the support which a Minister of the Crown might naturally expect to receive here, and checked and fettered in every instance whatever. Under these circumstances I have done all that I could, and I will assert without hesitation, that the Government of which I have formed a part has done much more since our 1316 being in office than has been done for half a century before, for the improvement of the political condition of the country. Let it be recollected too, that we have effected these improvements, when the evils were the accumulated evils of ages, which till that time no sufficient attempt had been made in any way to reduce. Under such circumstances, and under the pressure of a necessity which I could not avoid, I have resigned into his Majesty's hands the trust which he had been pleased to confide in me. I have done so not without a painful sense of the difficulties in which his Majesty is placed by such a resignation at this moment, but with the firm resolution to do all that I can to lessen and remove those difficulties, and with the full persuasion, that my continuance in office would rather increase than diminish them. There is one point to which I am anxious to refer before I sit down. It has been urged, my Lords, as a matter of blame to me that I more than any Minister, have endeavoured to provide situations in the public service since my assumption of the reins of Government, for my own family and friends. But if your Lordships examine into the matter your Lordships will find that no Minister ever less deserved such a reproach. The entrance of any person, in any way, however, distantly connected with my family, into any office connected with Government, has always been set down to my account. Now, I leave office with a fortune not more than sufficient to support my rank and station in society, charged as I am with the maintenance of a numerous family, and certainly with a fortune not improved by the emoluments of place. I leave office, not retaining one shilling of the public money, either for myself or any of my connexions. Of my numerous relations and friends, some have undoubtedly been placed in situations under Government; but all their situations have been laborious. I ask those who have joined in casting these imputations upon me, to look at the appointments which have been made in my family, and to say whether there has been one of them which has not been justified by the conduct of the party filling it? I appeal to the individuals in office under whom those parties have acted, whether they are not parties likely and proper to have been selected for their situations, even if 1317 they had had no connexion with me? I appeal from the malice of my accusers to the justice of the country, and ask whether the mere circumstance of their connexion with me is to be considered as a disqualification for their entrance into the public service? This forms the whole of what I wished to say upon that point. There is only another topic to which I now intend to allude. It has been said that I am an enemy to the Church; and an attempt—an ineffectual attempt I believe it will turn out to be—has been made to raise against me the cry of "The Church is in danger." Now, the measures which I have promoted with regard to the Church have emanated from a sincere desire to improve the condition of the Church. In my situation, as head of the Government, I have had some Church patronage to dispose of. I appeal to the members of the right reverend Bench, whether, in my disposal of that patronage, they have seen any reason to say, that my object has not been to fill vacant benefices with persons well qualified to discharge their duties? When I said, that on leaving office I should not leave behind me any one of my connexions receiving the public money, I ought to have recollected that I have a very near and dear relation a Bishop of the Church of England. I will appeal, however, to his right reverend colleagues whether that Prelate is not fully qualified for the Ministry which he holds in the Church? But that was not my appointment. The bishopric of Hereford, in May 1832, became vacant at a time when the end of my Administration appeared to be approaching. In point of fact, at the time when I thought that I was taking leave of my most gracious Master as a Minister, his Majesty as a gracious mark of the approbation and confidence with which he had honoured me, desired that my right reverend relation should be appointed to the vacant bishopric. That gracious command it was not for me to resist. I have since added to the revenues of that see, by the recommendation of his Majesty, those of a stall in the Cathedral Church of Westminster. That, I think, will not be objected to, when it is recollected that there is not a single Bishop in possession of a small see who does not derive an addition to his income from some living being attached to it. One of my first 1318 acts on coming into office was, to assist in making an arrangement of a similar nature for a right reverend Prelate (the Bishop of Exeter) who had certainly never been a political friend of mine; but who appeared in strict justice to have a right to it, in order to fulfil the arrangements made with him upon his appointment to the see. From these two pieces of preferment my right reverend relation does not possess an income of more than 4000l. a-year, which, in Reforming the Irish Church, your Lordships' did not think too much to be taken as the minimum amount of income for an Irish Bishop. I have entered into these topics, my Lords, because I am anxious, in quitting office, that my conduct should be fully and fairly before your Lordships, and I have only to state in addition that I shall continue to discharge the duties of my office in this place so long as his Majesty, from not selecting my successor, shall have occasion for my services. But your Lordships will see that there are some measures, such as the Irish Tithe Bill and the Irish Church Temporalities Bill, which it is impossible that an expiring Administration can carry through Parliament. As to the Bill now before your Lordships, I feel as strongly as man can feel the necessity for its being passed speedily; but I do not think it expedient to send it down to the House of Commons until a new Administration is formed, for the disadvantages would not be inconsiderable which it would then have to encounter. Statements have already been made in the other House of Parliament, that the Bill will not be agreed to without the production of documents which, it is clear, cannot on any account be produced. Statements have already been made that the Bill will be resisted word by word, and sentence by sentence. At any rate, then, the Bill will go down to the other House exposed to many objections, and, in the present state of affairs, it would be liable to this additional objection—"We cannot enact such powers without knowing the parties to whom we intrust them." The course, therefore, which I propose to your Lordships, is this,—to agree to the Report now proposed, but not to proceed to the third reading of the Bill, until there is a state of things in which you can reasonably hope that it will pass the other House of Parliament. If I have any 1319 weight with those with whom I have so long been connected, that weight shall be employed in persuading them to follow that course; at the same time, I will once more take upon myself the responsibility of declaring, that, in the present condition of Ireland, the passing of that Bill is, in my opinion, indispensably necessary. I also think that your Lordships will agree with me, that it is hardly possible for those now in office to proceed with the Irish Tithe Bill, until they know by whom they are succeeded. With respect to the Bill for the Amendment of the Poor-laws, do not consider it either as a a political or a party measure, it is a measure that circumstances have forced upon the consideration of the Government, and the Government, have endeavoured to fulfil its duty to the country by bringing it forward, after a full and fair examination into the whole matter by an enlightened Commission. It is my intention to propose the second reading of the Poor-law Amendment Bill on Friday next, and to use my best exertions to carry that Bill into a law. I may have much to account for to your Lordships, and to the country, with respect to the ability with which I have discharged my duty; but I trust that I shall stand excused in your Lordships' and in my country's opinion for any departure from the principles which I have professed, or for any deviation from that conduct which became a man of honour. Whilst I have health and strength left me, I shall continue to attend in my place in Parliament as an individual Peer, and to assist in promoting those views which I conceive to be the best for the general interests of the country.
§ The Duke of Wellington
said, if the noble Earl had confined his explanation to the causes of his own retirement from the King's service, and had not adverted to other topics totally unconnected with them,—above all if the noble Earl had not taken under review former discussions in this House, and even the conduct of this House, itself, I should have been relieved—and most happy should I have been in being relieved—from the necessity of addressing a single word to your Lordships upon this occasion. The noble Earl has stated, with great clearness, the cause of his own resignation of the situation which he holds in his Majesty's service; but, begging the noble Earl's pardon, he 1320 has left another subject wholly untouched—the cause of the resignation of his noble Colleague, which has occasioned his own. That subject has been left entirely unexplained, and I cannot but express my surprise that it has been so left, because, if ever there were a set of men bound to their Sovereign more than any other set of men—if ever there were a set of men under the absolute necessity of continuing in the service of their Sovereign, as long as they could do so without the violation of honour—the noble Earl and his colleagues are those men. But there is another reason why I feel myself called upon to trouble your Lordships upon this occasion. The noble Earl has referred, and referred very pointedly, to the speech of a right hon. friend of mine, in a recent discussion in the House of Commons. I quite concur in all the principles laid down by the noble Earl with respect to the propriety of calling for private and confidential correspondence between different members of the Government. But what is it that has passed on this subject? A right hon. Gentleman, high in the confidence of the Lord-lieutenant, thought fit to enter into a communication with a person who ought never to have been confided in, and thought fit to state, that the Lord-lieutenant had been of opinion, and that, too, very recently, that this Coercion Act should be proposed without certain clauses which it now contains. That statement the same right hon. Gentleman afterwards repeated in his place in Parliament. The correspondence produced, however, says no such thing, and therefore it proves, in the clearest manner, that there must have been something more than the papers recently produced, and placed upon your Lordships' Table. What passed afterwards? A noble Colleague of the right hon. Gentleman admitted that there was a further correspondence, of which he said that, though it did not bear out the opinion of his right hon. friend that the Lord-lieutenant thought that the Coercion Act ought not to be passed with certain clauses in it, it was still of such a nature that that inference might be drawn from it, and that though he could not draw that inference from it himself, others might. Does it not, then, become necessary for Parliament to know what the opinion of the Lord-Lieutenant was, which was thus 1321 quoted by one Minister, and thus commented on and discussed by another? What! are the noble Lord and the right hon. Gentleman to be at liberty to come down and discuss certain documents, and yet are other Members of Parliament not to be at liberty to discuss or even to mention them? I contend that my right hon. friend was perfectly justified in stating that it was necessary that Parliament should see the correspondence thus quoted and thus discussed by two members of the Government. That correspondence now turns out to be exactly what I at first expected,—namely, that the Lord-Lieutenant's opinion having been drawn from him, probably by certain questions, was to this effect:—"If such and such be your position in England, then do not introduce these clauses, and I will endeavour to carry on the Government of Ireland so as to do without them." Now, it is very proper for those who object to this Bill altogether, to have the circumstances which elicited that opinion before them; and it is only proper for others who wish to do justice to all parties, to see the papers thus quoted and thus discussed by two Ministers of the Crown, in order to enable them to arrive at a correct conclusion. I beg leave once more to observe, that, up to the present moment, the House has not received any explanation of the causes which have led to the resignation of the noble Lord, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. That noble Lord resisted the Motion for producing the documents to which I have referred. He resisted it successfully, for he was in a majority during the whole of the evening; and who knows but the same majority which supported him in resisting the production of those papers, might not have continued their support to any measure that he might have brought forward? I therefore repeat—and I am sorry to repeat it; but my conviction is, that the noble Earl, and the noble Lord in the other House, have no grounds whatever for deserting his Majesty's service. I should, my Lords, be happy if I were spared the necessity of adverting to the measures of the noble Earl's Government; but the noble Earl has himself imposed the necessity upon me. The noble Earl has spoken of the excited state in which the country was when he and his colleagues accepted office; but, in speaking of the causes of that excitement, the noble Earl has not alluded to the effects 1322 which the two revolutions which had occurred immediately before in neighbouring countries—the revolutions of Paris and Brussels—had in producing that excitement. Nor has the noble Earl stated all the domestic reasons for the state of the country when he and his colleagues accepted office. Begging the noble Earl's pardon—but I must tell him, that he has forgotten to state that all the populous towns throughout the country, were, at that time, paraded by large bodies of men having political objects in view. This is one reason which I could give for the state of the country at the time the noble Earl took office. The noble Earl has boasted of what his Government has done for the country. My Lords, I hesitate not to say this: that, during the three years and a half that the noble Earl has presided over his Majesty's Councils, there has been more blood shed in this country than there was from the year 1780, the time of Lord George Gordon's riots, down to 1830, the period when the noble Earl accepted office. The noble Earl has also talked of the prosperous state of affairs in other countries—of the peaceful state of Europe generally at this moment. My Lords, I maintain, that the peace of Europe is not more secure at this time than it was when I quitted office. In point of fact, Europe is in a more unsettled state now than when the noble Earl assumed the reins of Government. At that time, he talked largely of the principle of non-intervention. On the very night in which he did accept office, he declared, in the hearing of your Lordships, that non-interference in the affairs of other countries, was one of the three great principles on which his Government should be conducted. Now, my Lords, I ask, how far has the noble Earl redeemed this promise? The noble Earl has prudently said nothing of that principle to-night, but I ask, if every part of Europe does not complain of the intervention of this country in its affairs? Was not the quadruple alliance a breach of the noble Earl's promise of non-intervention in the affairs of other States? My Lords, I do say, that this country had no right whatever to interfere in the affairs of Spain and Portugal. The noble Earl had also adverted to the affairs of the East and West Indies, and to those of the Bank of England. We do not yet know whether, in the expectations he forms from these measures, he is right. I hope in 1323 God he is so. But the noble Earl cannot boast with respect to the effects of the West-India measure, until he sees the slaves emancipated; and let him not boast of the benefits of the East-India and China measure, until he first sees how it operates. My Lords, I am sorry to be obliged to advert to these questions: if the noble Earl had not introduced them, I should not have referred to them. In those instances in which I have opposed the measures of the noble Earl, it has been solely because I did not approve of them; and there never has been a disposition on this side of the House to object to the measures of the noble Earl merely for the sake of creating an opposition. On many of his measures I have had the misfortune of differing from him; but this I can say for myself, that I was always most anxious to support him when I could; and I mean to support the noble Earl in the measure of which he has given notice that he intends to move the second reading on Friday next. I repeat, my Lords, that I was always anxious to support the noble Earl, and that I never opposed him but with pain.
The Lord Chancellor
said, that after the extraordinary speech of the noble Duke who had just sat down, he must trespass upon the indulgence of their Lordships for a few minutes. That he rose under the influence of feelings exceedingly different from those under which he laboured when his noble friend resumed his seat was a point which he should not attempt to disguise from the House. He partook of what he then supposed to be the universal feeling, and what every thing which had passed subsequently convinced him was very generally the feeling of the House, and that feeling would have indisposed him—indeed, it would have deprived him of the capability of entering into a political contention, a party discussion, on the merits of a speech which was an explanation merely, and not an attack. He felt surprised, but there was no accounting for taste,—he felt surprised that this occasion should have been selected for bringing forward such a discussion as that originated by the noble Duke, and he was confident that, if by any means, the sense of their Lordships could be taken on this subject, on this occasion at least he should find himself in a large majority. Nevertheless, the noble Duke had dragged him 1324 by force, into the discussion, unless, indeed, noble Lords, who were judges, deemed it a part of justice, that they should hear only one side, and that side the side of impeachment and attack—of impeachment against measures, and of attack against individual Ministers; and that they should dispense with the somewhat inconvenient task of hearing the other side. He had never heard a speech less calculated to excite angry feeling than that which had just been delivered by his noble friend, or less calculated to kindle and increase political animosity. He had never heard an address more touching in painting, more candid in pretension, more fair and open in disclosure—one in which blame against anybody, and more particularly against the noble Duke, was more cautiously and carefully shunned. His noble friend had stated his reasons for his unhappy resolution—for so he (the Lord Chancellor) must call it—of retiring from office, a resolution which no man could deplore more sincerely than he did; and in taking leave of their Lordships in his public capacity—in laying down his office—in stating the reasons why he laid down his official life—his noble friend, by some slip of the tongue, had called it his political life, but God forbid that his political life should yet close for many a long year—his noble friend, in laying down before their Lordships his official life in the House of Lords, in taking leave of his colleagues on the one side, and his opponents on the other, did, he confessed it, and so too would his noble friend confess it, indulge in a retrospect of what he had done for his country, and of what he could trust to in his retirement for the continuance of his name in veneration among his friends and countrymen. His noble friend had taken the opportunity, much exasperated as he was, by the foulest and falsest calumnies which public men ever had to struggle against, to step aside and overwhelm his base and malignant calumniators, by telling the world the simple truth, that he retired from office, he and his family, not only not richer, but absolutely poorer than he was before his accession to power, albeit that for three years and upwards, he had enjoyed the patronage of office. Was there anything so unusual, in one so circumstanced, taking a retrospect of his public life while in office? Was there anything extraordinary in his noble friend's 1325 casting a glance at the charges made by his accusers, which could be fairly said to call forth such comments as the noble Duke felt it his duty to make? But his noble friend had been represented as making an attack, and as calling for a defence. The noble duke seemed to think that this attack was made in the noble Earl's allusion to the state of the nation. But could that be said to be an attack which consisted only in his noble friend's throwing out the challenge in his own manly manner to his accusers, and in an expression of his perfect readiness to meet those accusers on any day when they might bring forward any charges against any measure of his Government? But nevertheless this was the ground taken by the noble Duke for his comments, whether with good feeling or with bad feeling, or without any feeling of either kind, and the consequence was, that he, who had come down to that House, intending only to be a silent listener to an explanation, was unwillingly dragged in to take part in the debate. Now on one point on which the noble Duke had touched, he fully concurred with him, and he would take leave to say, that of all men who had ever held office, the present Ministry would be the most without excuse if they could think of their leaving the service of their king and country, unless through an unavoidable necessity. This had ever been his opinion since he came into office—it was his opinion to the present hour; and he felt that he should not discharge his duty if, at all sacrifice of his comfort—at all abandonment of his own case—at the destruction, if so it might be, of his own peace of mind, he did not stand by that gracious Monarch, and that country whose support—whose cordial and hearty support—he had received during the three years and a-half of which he had been a member of the Government. After having said this, he need not add, that he had not tendered his resignation. [A laugh.] Did their Lordship think that there was anything very peculiarly merry or amusing in being a Minister at the present time? If they did, he would invite them to take a part in the re-construction of the Government. But he thought they knew better. If they were not aware of the annoyance which must attend such a situation, he was; and he would tell those noble Lords that such was his feeling with respect to 1326 office, that nothing but a sense of the most imperative duty could have kept him in office one hour after the resignation of his noble friend. His noble friend had made out his own case; but, according to the opinion of the noble Duke, no sufficient explanation had been given of the resignation of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He (the Lord Chancellor) would only say, that he differed widely from his noble friend (Lord Althorp) as to his resignation. He did think that his noble friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, ought not to have resigned. No man could admire more than he did the talent and integrity of his noble friend, and he knew that he did but echo the opinion of the country, when he said, that a more honourable man in his public and private relations—that one more upright as a Minister or more virtuous as a man, did not exist in these kingdoms. His noble friend had, from an over-sense of high feeling, been induced to take a step which his noble friend, and the country, he trusted, would not see occasion to rue. He, however, cast no blame—he imputed none. He only said, that he differed from his noble friend; but he could not follow his example. That example was not followed by any other member of the Government, save the noble Earl at its head. These two were the only resignations which had been tendered. What he had thus said, would, he hoped, be considered a sufficient explanation on these points. But the noble duke seemed to think, that the noble Earl had attacked a right hon. Gentleman (Sir Robert Peel) in another place, for having called for the production of certain private and confidential communications made to the Government, as if they were publici juris. There was no attack, the fact only was stated, and the course recommended by the right hon. Gentleman was most properly objected to by his noble friend. He spoke not for one Government, but for all Governments, when he protested against the doctrine laid down by the noble Duke in his friendly zeal for his right hon. friend in the other House. Was it, he would ask, to be endured, that a Government acting on its own responsibility, and getting its information from various sources, and amongst others from members of its own body, should be required to produce, not only the grounds on which they came to the conclusion as to a par- 1327 ticular measure, but also the fact, whether at any time, any of them had held a different opinion before that conclusion was formed? Were they now to be told, that the evidence furnished as to the necessity of the renewal of the Coercion Bill, as it was called, was not sufficient, but that they must also have the fact, whether, at any time, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland had held a different opinion as to the necessity of the whole or of parts of that Bill? If the opinions of individual members of the Government, secretly and confidentially communicated, were thus to be called for, there would be an end of all Government. Supposing there had been two meetings of the Cabinet on the subject, and that on the first it was a matter of doubt, but that on the next all doubts were removed, would it be a fair ground of objection to the measure, to say, that it could not be brought forward until the opinions of individuals on the first day were produced? "But, then," said the objectors, "we must not only have the conclusion, to which you as a Government came, but we must also know the opinions which some of you held on some particular day, before you came to that conclusion." This, then, was the opinion of those wise, those sensible, those logical Statesmen, who by the way were prepared to go all the lengths with the Bill from what they had heard of the decision of the Government on the Saturday, but who now stopped short, and called for the opinions which were held on the Friday. ["No, no."] He would demonstrate it in a moment. They had the letter of the Lord Lieutenant on one day, stating the necessity of the measure. Now, what did it signify as to the Bill itself, what might have been said or done on a former day? It was just as absurd as to object to the conclusion to which the Government might have come on the Saturday, because it did not produce the opinions which might have been given on the Friday. The noble Duke had felt it necessary to enter into the question of foreign politics, though there was but one single sentence in all that his noble friend had said which referred to the situation of this country respecting its foreign relations. If the noble Duke had conceived that that one sentence had justified his reference to our foreign policy, he wished him joy of the discovery. The noble Duke seemed to think, that there was 1328 nothing in having kept at peace with all Europe, in the last three years and a-half. Now, what had been said by an hon. Gentleman, a Member of the other House, to whose opinion he presumed the noble Duke would attach some weight? The hon. Member to whom he alluded, had once been Member for, he believed, Taunton. He did not know whether he still represented the same place, but if not, he must suppose, that he sat for some other borough, for he could not believe, that with the peculiar opinions which he once held, he could now be a county Member. His opinions were once so strong against the Corn-laws, that he almost headed the mob against that measure in 1815. Of course he could not expect that the hon. Gentleman could now sit for a county, and still less for such a county as Essex; or that he could have influence enough to get returned for that county, and to defeat his noble friend (Lord Western). But what said his hon. friend—the hon. Member to whom he alluded—for he still called him his hon. friend—they were still on habits of private friendship, though he differed from his hon. friend, or rather he should say, that his hon. friend differed from him, for he went away from those opinions which he had once held, but which he (the Lord Chancellor) still continued to hold—but what said his hon. friend on the accession of the present Administration? He remarked, that if they kept the peace of Europe for three months, it would be a miracle. Well, they had kept it now for three years—for three years and seven months; so that in fact they had three years and four months to spare, and yet they counted it no miracle, and he saw no chance of the peace of Europe being interrupted, unless something stepped in, for which they were not prepared, to mar the policy of the present Administration. Unless some unforeseen interposition of that kind should occur, he would say, that the peace of Europe was more secure at the present moment than when they came into office; and he should consider it no slight praise to their successors in office, whoever they might be, to say in three years and a-half hence, that they had kept the peace of Europe as well as it was left on the 9th of July, 1834. That he thought would be doing something for which they would deserve well of their country. 1329 He did not think that he ought to trespass on the time of their Lordships by any further remarks, but there was one point on which he would beg to offer one or two observations. He alluded to what had been sometimes said by a most able and intelligent individual, a Member of the other House, out of whose book the noble Duke had taken a leaf on this occasion. In following the example of the hon. and learned person to whom he alluded, the noble Duke made his remark—not, of course, in order to attack—not to accuse the Government of his noble friend, but, no doubt, out of pure kindness, and as a proof of the disposition of which he spoke, as existing at that (the Opposition) side of the House, to give every support to the Government of his noble friend, or rather not to oppose it, except on conscientious grounds: that remark was, that since the days of Lord George Gordon's mob, in 1780, more of the blood of his Majesty's subjects had not been shed in this country, than since the accession of his noble friend's Administration. Now, if the noble Duke had complained—if he urged this as a matter of blame—as showing that the Government was cruel or sanguinary, or too severe or too harsh, the complaint would be understood; but it no doubt was not intended to be confined within the walls of that House, but that the echo of the charge should rebound beyond its walls, like some of the charges of the very eloquent orator to whom he had alluded, and whom the noble Duke himself had blamed for appealing to the excitable feelings of his countrymen, in a way which he must know would soon be carried out of doors. He would say, that the charge, taken by itself, was one of unmitigated blame, but taken in connexion with the circumstances out of which it arose, no blame could attach to the Government. He would ask the noble Duke to point out any one case in which the law had been carried into execution to its extreme extent, in which it had not been called for by the general feeling of judges and jury by whom the case had been tried, and then let the noble Duke say, whether the Government deserved that blame which had been sneeringly cast upon it for too great severity, and for having shed more blood than all of its predecessors during more than ten times the period of his Administration. His noble friend, the 1330 Lord Chief Justice of England, was present to defend himself. The noble Lord knew the pains that were taken by the Cabinet, the hours they had sat in deliberation, before the final execution of the law was ordered on any of the condemned parties, and he could bear testimony to the fact, that the few who were executed, were much below the number on whom, in the opinion of the reverend Judges who tried the cases, the law ought to have been allowed to take its course. This charge was, no doubt, not made by the noble Duke to cast blame on the Government, but merely, as the noble Duke had said, to show that the noble Earl at the head of the Government, had had no easy time of it. His noble friend did not require to be reminded of that fact, for he was fully convinced of it before the noble Duke had thought it necessary to allude to it. As far as he was concerned as a member of the Government, he was anxious to be put upon his trial with respect to it, and he should be able to show, whenever the subject came for discussion, that if the Government had allowed the law to take its course on ten times the number who actually did suffer, they would have had the general feeling of the judges and jury and the country in their favour; but they had tempered justice with mercy, and they had allowed the law to take its course only on those whom, in justice to the public, they could not suffer to escape. The consequence of the course which they had pursued was, that internal peace was restored to the country, and his noble friend quitted office with the pleasing consciousness that the state of the country was happy, contrasted with that in which the noble Duke had left it on his retirement from the Administration. The noble Duke had alluded to difficulties which he said had occurred in the Administration, and he referred as causes of them, to the revolutions of Paris and of Brussels. As to the latter, he (the Lord Chancellor) would say nothing. He had, on a former occasion, expressed his disapprobation of it, and he was still of the same opinion. It was an overthrow of a monarch, and a dismemberment of Europe, brought about by a revolt for which he saw no sufficient cause. But the revolution of Paris, as it was called, though he did not call it a revolution, he could no more call it a revolution than if the noble Lord (Lord Rolle) connected with the county of Devon, and who ap- 1331 peared to dissent from what he said, should become a leading member of the Government of this country, and should begin by putting down the Press, by upsetting the leading principles of the Magna Charta, by suspending the Habeas Corpus Act without the authority of Parliament, and by dissolving the Parliament itself without suffering it to meet even once after it had been called together; he could no more, he said, call the events of Paris a Revolution than he should call that a Revolution which would put an end to the noble Lord's power, and to that Government which upheld him. But he must apply it to the noble Lord, for no King in this country would do or sanction such acts; but if he did, as he should feel greatly disposed to do, pull down the noble Lord from his usurped power and from his violent inroads upon the Constitution, the noble Lord would no doubt be sent to some convenient place of custody on the coast of Devonshire; yet in all this there would be no Revolution. The noble Lord would be called the revolutionist, and he (the Lord Chancellor) would be styled the restorer of the Constitution. In this sense he looked upon the transactions at Paris, not as a Revolution, but as a restoration. But call it Revolution if they pleased, he considered it a very proper one. The late dynasty of France had deserved to cease to govern that country, for they were unfit to govern, and the people deserved to be free, for they had the courage to fight for their freedom, and were not afraid to break those chains which imbecile tyrants had tried to weave round their necks. That was a Revolution which was not likely to give much disturbance to this Government. The noble Duke had alluded to the West India Question as one for which the present Government ought not to claim any credit until they saw how the measure would work. He (the Lord Chancellor) did not think it was necessary to wait any long time to judge of the effect of that measure. There was every reason to hope and expect that it would work well; but without waiting any length of time he thought they ought not to withhold from his noble friend, from party or from personal motives, the praise which was justly his due for that blessed act. The noble Duke had on this occasion, why, he knew not, felt it necessary to act on the defensive. He did not know that 1332 the noble Duke had acted more so since the year 1811. The noble Duke had taken on himself the defence of their Lordships, but he was not aware that any attack had been made on them, to need the noble Duke's defence. His noble friend (Earl Grey) had not made any attack on their Lordships. All he had said was, that in his Administration he had had difficulties to struggle with. Surely their Lordships would not take that as an attack upon them. They, he took for granted, could not think for a moment that any of those difficulties had been raised by themselves. The noble Duke had declared, that he had agreed with the measures of the noble Earl's Administration where he could, and only opposed it where he could not conscientiously go along with it, and no doubt their Lordships, who sat on the same side of the House as the noble Duke, partook of the same feeling towards the Administration of his noble friend. His noble friend had cast no blame on any part that was taken by that side. No doubt the feeling was, amongst their Lordships, such as the noble Duke described it; but it somehow happened that with all their good feelings their Lordships had opposed the Government wherever they could. ["No, no."] Your Lordships (continued the noble and learned Lord) may say "No" at this side, but we at the other side think differently. I have no doubt whatever that your Lordships acted conscientiously, and because you wished, as the noble Duke has stated, to give your support to the Government of my noble friend, where you could. This disposition to support the Government was illustrated in the case of some Bills which had no particular political bearing—in the Local Jurisdiction Bill, for instance. In the case of that Bill, your Lordships allowed it to be read a second time. You allowed it to go a stage further, and to pass through the Committee, in order that it might have the advantage of your Lordships' judicial wisdom, and that you might see how far it could be improved. You allowed it to go a stage further, and the framer of it could have no notion that it was not your Lordships' intention to give it the full sanction of your judicial experience, by allowing it to pass; but just at the twelfth hour, in the very last stage, when I thought the Bill secure, I found an unusual bustle going on in the neighbourhood of this House. Correspondence was 1333 carried on to a great extent by the General Post, and the twopenny messengers and couriers were seen passing in great numbers through the streets in our neighbourhood, which seemed too confined for the crowds which came down here from all quarters. Even the judicial business of the morning was for a time interrupted by the numbers who came down here to deliver in proxies. When I saw this, I at once gave up the Bill as lost, though I could not conceive why the decision as to its fate had been reserved to that late stage. It was, however, so arranged, and the Bill was lost at that stage. I do not blame any of your lordships for having taken that course. I have no doubt it was done from the pure desire or giving the Government of my noble friend all the support you conscientiously could. I will not for a moment suppose that it was done with any view to embarrass the Government. The Bill was founded on the Report of some six Tory Commissioners, who would have carried its principle much further than I was willing to go with it; but, nevertheless, its fate was such as I have described. My noble friend made no charge, or imputed no blame for any embarrassment which was occasioned; all he did was to express his regret that any such embarrassment should have existed. I do not feel it necessary to enter upon the question of the Reform Bill, to which the noble Duke has referred. [The Duke of Wellington had not alluded to that measure.] Well, I thought the noble Duke had expressly alluded to it, but I may infer that he alluded to it, and include it amongst those measures in which the noble Duke would have supported the Government if he could agree with them. But at all events I may allude to it thus far—that there were some divisions on it against its movers—that one of these was in the Committee; and it was only when its conductors threatened to cease to go on with the Bill that two of its most determined opponents declared that they were ready to bring in a similar Bill with some slight modifications. This was another proof of the disposition of your Lordships to support the Administration of my noble friend. I do not think it necessary to trespass on your Lordships' time with any further remarks on what has fallen from the noble Duke. My Lords, I must, before I conclude, again express my deep regret that the determination of my noble 1334 friend to retire from office is final. This is a regret in which I am sure very many of your Lordships participate, and in this feeling I am satisfied I might command a majority of the House. But my sorrow is the more deep when I know that my noble friend is still equal, from his robust understanding, from his undiminished ability, and his purely honourable and manly mind, to all the duties of official life—that in every quality of head and heart he excels every statesman of the age, and while I regret that he should retire, I may hope that he may be still spared to the country for many years. My Lords, I who have known my noble friend for thirty years, who have latterly lived with him daily and hourly, who have seen him in his unprepared moments, whereas your Lordships may have seen him in moments of greater preparation—I will say, and I can unhesitatingly and gladly bear my exulting testimony, that I never knew him in more complete possession of his intellect, or in greater capacity or power to guide the helm of the State, than he is at this present moment. That my noble friend should, in thus taking his official leave of your Lordships and retiring from the Administration, appear somewhat dispirited, that he should seem to have somewhat less than his usual share of bodily strength, is what may be expected—it is what I have often seen within the last year and a-half, when I have known him to act in distrust of his own force and great power of mind. That he should now court retirement, which, in spite of all he has said, I hold to be premature, I look on as a cruel calamity to the country, of which he is the brightest ornament, and one of whose most precious and most brilliant possessions is my noble friend's public character. My Lords, unlike the giddy character of the people of a neighbouring land, who will one day fall down and worship the idol of their own creation, but who on another day, when his claims to veneration are increased, will cast away that worship and break to pieces the idol they themselves have fashioned—I say, my Lords, unlike to these—the rational, the sober-minded people of this country, I mean the people of Britain, including, of course, the Irish—know the value of my noble friend; they rejoice in his character, and deem it their pride and pleasure to give him their undivided confidence; and it is my firm and heartfelt 1335 conviction, that for half a century there will have dawned no more gloomy day than that which first announces to the British people the retirement of my noble friend—that he has ceased to be their chief in all measures of rational and just improvement—their moderator, when their zeal and unformed opinions would lead them too far, and on all occasions their advocate and protector, and let me add as truly the Minister after their own heart as he was certainly the servant of the King's gracious choice.
§ The Report was agreed to.